Of course, many things still need to be accomplished. There's a big pile of unfolded laundry on our bed that I put there so I'd have to fold it before going to sleep tonight. Looks like I'll move it out to the couch. Although the dishwasher ran and was emptied today, there's still a bunch of kitchen and dishes to clean up. Our floor looks like a tiny-pieces-of-garbage confetti cannon exploded. I'm halfway done going through the girls' clothes, which means I have piles on the floor in their room. Ya know, the bigger mess before it's all organized. Dirty bibs and burp rags abound and I'm hoping that every wet spot I come across is water and not snot or spit up. And so on.
I feel like the whole day was spent changing diapers, feeding babies, holding fussy babies, blowing my own nose and coughing, trying to catch Ty's nose with a tissue before he wiped it with the back of his hand, and picking stuff up around our messy home that accumulates exponentially when everyone's stuck inside for a while. Plus, the Seahawks lost. Since this is not our first day being sick, Ty had a case of cabin fever and was bouncing off the walls when he wasn't crying or falling on his sisters or getting in trouble for swinging them in the Johnny Jump-up wrecking-ball style. The girls were extra fussy and wanted to be held. Neither Russell nor myself felt so great either.
Around 7:45 after our late dinner (our kids usually go to sleep around 9, which hopefully will change to 8ish after we aren't sick now that we're done holiday traveling), I decided we should church things up just a bit. We said a prayer (we all needed that!) and I had a literally 2-minute little lesson ready for Ty where he got to hold pictures and sing a song he already knows. 2 minutes turned into 15 as he ran around, wouldn't quit being so goofy, and the babies needed some attention and although I probably should have given up, I was stubborn and we were going to get spiritual on Sunday for a minute, dang it! By the end, Russell was asleep on the couch, the babies were squirmy, and Ty had lost it.
I'm proud of myself, though, because instead of being frustrated I decided it would probably be a good time to play. Ty and I played "Up down, touch the ground," he "flew" staying balanced in the air on my feet, and I was a horse that Ty and Lila rode together. They laughed while we played and my mood totally changed. Sometimes I need to remember that my role as a mom involves playing with my kids. They don't want a clean house, they want my time. They don't need to always be reminded to pick up their toys, they need to be reminded of the cool monster trucks in the hall they should bring out to be played with together. They don't care if their dinner wasn't fancy, they would rather be tickled. This is important for Ty, especially since he has been displaced a bit by the babies; his piece of the pie is now smaller. (And I need to remember that my piece still exists!)
Anyway, after playing for a little while, I could tell Ty was worn out and with a baby in one arm, we brushed his teeth and said good night to everyone. (He's always really good about giving everyone a good night kiss.) As I carried him to bed--this time without a baby--he asked if I could stay and snuggle. I agreed to sing a song and he asked for "song of a bird:"
Whenever I hear the song of a bird, or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face, or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose or walk by our lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me.
He gave me my eyes that I might see the color of butterfly wings.
He gave me my ears that I might hear the magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart; I thank him reverently
For all his creations of which I'm a part. Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.
Before I started singing, I got a little teary-eyed and overcome with a sense of love for my little boy. (Kinda like I am right now.) The very last line of the song hit me especially: I am a part of Ty, His creation, and am so fortunate and happy to be so. As I sat on Ty's bed and tried to get through the song without pausing too much getting all choked up, I know that I was blessed with an extra dose of feeling joy in being a mom when I needed it.
I came out to put Lila and Avery down, too and as I picked up the freshly-swaddled Lila, she stopped sucking on her binki and gave me a huge, face-lighting-up smile. Avery did the same thing as I gave her a last-chance diaper change then carried her to the crib. I wish that I could express better how this really felt after a long, not so fun day. I know that I experienced a tender mercy from the Lord as I put my all 3 of my sweet babies to bed. It was the calm after the storm, the payoff after the work, the realization of my privilege to be a mother and have joy in my life right now. I'm not looking forward to Russell starting his 3rd (and last!) clinical rotation and not being home like he has been for the past 3 weeks, but I'm feeling re-energized in my daily mission of tending to the children. There's absolutely nothing that compares to my role as a parent and I feel humbled and blessed to be a part in the lives of Heavenly Father's children. I'm lucky to have such a great husband who, although he had never changed a diaper until it belonged to his own son, is a wonderful father and example for our family. I am so grateful for a reminder of what's most important and love